Will Doug Ford’s road to government mean less government spending?

These are exciting times for the city of Toronto.

This is the first time in memory a sitting premier and premier-designate have met the same day, a fact I first realized about two years ago when I spent a couple of hours writing in the back room of the Liberal Party HQ in downtown Toronto. The PM, who was there to pay tribute to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, caught sight of me wandering the room and stopped to say hello.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath has also made herself at home. There are new members to speak with and political conversations flow freely. On the last day of the legislature, many of us watched under the neon lights of the legislative press gallery as NDP MPP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith dropped his bid to succeed Stephane Dion as leader of the party, and take his place at the next caucus meeting. It was a well-deserved victory for Horwath, the only person who refused to run. That was quite a day in the legislature.

Related Image Expand / Contract NDP leader Andrea Horwath turned back Nathan Erskine-Smith’s bid to become party leader, finishing the race in a virtual tie with Jagmeet Singh. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

While we wait for Doug Ford to take power on Jan. 14, the Ford family has gone further down the road to build the kind of society Ford so passionately campaigned for. Doug Ford – son, brother, and successful businessman – has been a big supporter of The Mowat Centre, the premier-designate’s policy and research centre that will explore issues such as poverty, reconciliation and sprawl. And, like his brother Doug Ford, Peter MacKay is getting engaged.

Full story: Doug Ford: I will re-hire anyone who lost their job under Tory government. https://t.co/Db5um0BXlc — CP24 (@CP24) January 3, 2018

Most economists would say that a continuing 50-year economic slump can’t be much of a legacy. The question that now hangs over the city is – does Doug Ford’s road forward mean less government spending? What will it look like?

“He’s going to do a tremendous amount with taxes and spending,” Shaun Denton, a deputy editor with Donner, Canada’s leading lifestyle news website, tells me.

“He’s going to keep austerity on as much of the budget as possible. And that’s good because we were heading to a state of imminent emergency with so much going on.”

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Shawn Micallef’s new book, “Radical Legitimacy: The Election of Justin Trudeau and the Reshaping of Canadian Politics,” is out now.

This column was first published by CTV News, Toronto’s Channel 55.

Shawn Micallef is author of Radical Legitimacy: The Election of Justin Trudeau and the Reshaping of Canadian Politics, published by House of Anansi Press.

Shawn is a TV broadcaster, radio host, nationally syndicated columnist and best-selling author.

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